Dunfermline 2 Kilmarnock 2Saturday, 16th Oct 2021
cinch Championship: one change as Dom Thomas starts in place of Kai Kennedy. Callum Hendry (67) 0-1: Dom Thomas (73) 1-1: Oli Shaw (74) 1-2: Aaron Comrie (90+5) 2-2:
Dunfermline Athletic completed the first quarter of league fixtures with a 2-2 draw against high flying Killie. A late late strike from Aaron Comrie made it feel like a win and one how the players and fans celebrated.
The Pars welcomed Kilmarnock to East End Park for the first league match between the teams since May 2012. Back then it was an SPL fixture, this time around it is the Championship with the visitors placed 2nd and the Fifers trailing by 12 points in tenth.
Peter Grant made one change from the team that lost at Dumfries two weeks ago, former Killie player Dom Thomas coming in to replace Kai Kennedy. Tommy Wright made two changes to the Rugby Park side that lost to Raith Rovers last time out, Liam Polworth and Scott Robinson moving to the bench to allow Callum Hendry and Fraser Murray to start.
Former Pars captain Euan Murray led the opposition out from the East Stand and the teams changed ends before Craig Wighton kicked the game off with Dunfermline attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end.
Kilmarnock did have an early ball across the Pars six yard box but the first real threat came from a sixth minute free kick after Jason Naismith cut down Kevin O’Hara out on the left just ten yards out. Thomas and Paul Allan stood over the ball but it was the latter who delivered the ball into the opposition six yard box but keeper Zach Hemming was out to punch clear.
Wighton picked out O’Hara on the left but his cross was just too big for Aaron Comrie to connect with. Killie forced the first corner of the afternoon in 18 minutes and Owain Fon Williams did well to palm away Fraser Murray’s cross. Next minute a Paul Allan shot deflected off Stephen McGinn for a Dunfermline corner but that was defended.
There was a let off for the Fifers when Fôn Williams was forced to come for a ball that Oli Shaw got to first but his chip from an angle on the right was off target. Then Oli Shaw sent an attempt wide right from a Rory McKenzie cut back. Josh Edwards picked out O’Hara but his shot did not test anyone.
Next one in 24 minutes did, after O’Hara, Wighton and then Thomas switched the ball to Dan Pybus and his effort was saved low right. One more minute later a good individual move by O’Hara made space for him to have a crack at goal from 20 yards out and Hemming had to pull off a good save to turn the ball around his left hand post.
The game had been fairly open with the ball being played from one box to the other but as the interval approached the match had got bogged down a bit in midfield. A McGinn free kick was cleared by Edwards and when he broke in 40 minutes he played the ball off Pybus but the return was just too heavy and the Kilmarnock defence intervened.
Two minutes later Hendry picked out McKenzie on the Killie right and the no.7 flashed the ball through the Dunfermline box to no avail. The Ayrshire outfit had one final push towards half time but Mark Connolly forced away Fraser Murray’s effort and then after Naismith found Hendry his shot was blocked and McKenzie fired the loose ball over the crossbar.
Kilmarnock had the edge on first half possession and shots but none of Killie’s five were on target while all three of Dunfermline’s were.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Kilmarnock 0
Blair Alston blasted an effort wide in 47 minutes but the visitors had most of the early second half possession. It was 51 minutes when the Fifers got forward with Wighton passing to Thomas for a crack from 25 yards out that went high. Then a 52nd minute corner on was won on the right but Thomas’ high ball over was held by Hemming.
Five minutes later Dow won a corner on the left, Hemming fisted away Allan’s cross and Thomas hooked back in the ball but straight to the magenta kitted keeper. First substitution of the match came in 59 minutes when Chris Burke replaced Rory McKenzie.
Three minutes later after Thomas’ shot was headed away by E Murray and then after he had earned a corner on the right Kai Kennedy replaced Dan Pybus. Wighton met Thomas’ corner and headed in off the crossbar only for referee Greg Aitken to rule it out for excessive pushing.
Play switched to the other end and Connolly cleared a Burke effort off the line before a refereeing decision went against the home side. A corner from the right could not be cleared and HENDRY looked offside as he directed the ball home at the far post. 0-1
Dunfermline would take the lead from a speculative ball in from the right by THOMAS. No one cut it out or latched on to it to shoot and the ball rolled in at the far post 1-1. Great celebrations greeted the first home league goal of the season but they were to be short lived.
Less than one minute later Oli SHAW burst in on the left hand side of the Pars box and slid the ball in at the near post. 1-1
Kilmarnock were awarded a soft free kick on the edge of the Pars box and Fôn Williams had to save from his former team mate Fraser Murray while Shaw sent the follow up wide right. There was a double substitution for Dunfermline in 86 minutes with Rhys Breen and Nikolay Todorov replacing Vytas Gašpuitis and Ryan Dow.
Wighton had a chance for an equaliser from an O’Hara knocked down but was high before O’Hara earned an added time corner that Hemming eventually got under control. The match though was to end with a dramatic equaliser in the fifth minute of time added on. Edwards pumped a ball from the left into the opposition box and Todorov couldn’t quite control it. However the ball dropped nicely for COMRIE to drill the ball into the left side of the Kilmarnock goal 2-2
No time for a comeback this time and the home draw was great joy for the East End faithful who had stayed for a sweet and not so bitter end. Dunfermline remain bottom of the league but the performance against a team that was in the Premiership last season gives hope that the next three quarters of the Championship season can be more fruitful in terms of goals and victories.DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams (c): Aaron Comrie, Mark Connolly, Vytas Gašpuitis (Rhys Breen 86) , Josh Edwards: Dom Thomas, Dan Pybus (Kai Kennedy 62), Paul Allan, Ryan Dow (Nikolay Todorov 86): Kevin O’Hara, Craig Wighton.
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Lewis McCann, Matty Todd, Deniz Mehmet (GK)
SCORERS: Thomas (73), Comrie (90+5)
YELLOW CARD: Pybus (26), G Shields (49)
KILMARNOCK: Zach Hemming: Jason Naismith, Dylan McGowan, Euan Murray, Brandon Haunstrup: Rory McKenzie (Chris Burke 59), Stephen McGinn, Blair Alston, Fraser Murray: Callum Hendry (Scott Robinson 72), Oli Shaw.
SUBS NOT USED: Liam Polworth, Jack Sanders, Lee Hodson, Brad Lyons, Sam Walker (GK).
SCORERS: Hendry (67), Shaw (74)
YELLOW CARD: Hendry (61), McGinn (79)
REFEREE: Greg Aitken
WEATHER: Cloudy 10°C
NEXT MATCH: cinch Championship (away) v Partick Thistle, Saturday 23rd October 2021, kick off 3.00pm at Firhill
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Dunfermline 2-2 Kilmarnock
Sat, 16th Oct 2021
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